How To Repair A Hairline Crack In PVC Pipe (Do This!)

Gary Evans
by Gary Evans
Even the smallest hairline crack in a PVC pipe can lead to major problems down the line, and it requires your immediate attention. PVC pipes are durable, but hairline cracks can grow into bigger problems, but luckily a little bit of PVC glue can fix that problem. Between sanding the pipe down and patching the crack with glue, let’s see how you can easily fix the hairline crack in your PVC pipe.

PVC pipes are well regarded for their exceptional durability. If you take good care of them, the expectation is that PVC pipes can remain usable for up to 100 years.

Still, PVC pipes are not immune to damage. They can crack and break just like other types of pipes do. Act quickly though and you can still salvage your damaged PVC pipe, especially if the damage amounts to a hairline crack.

Upon pinpointing the location of the hairline crack along the PVC pipe, you need to sand that spot down. Sanding will clear the area with the hairline crack and make it easier to fix. Once you’re done sanding, apply PVC glue to seal up the hairline crack and stop it from being a problem.

The appearance of a crack on PVC pipe can be the cause of immediate concern. Don’t panic though because that’s a problem that can be dealt with easily, especially if you’re talking about a hairline crack. Learn more about properly dealing with damaged PVC pipes by reading on.

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Why PVC Pipes Crack

PVC pipes have become more popular for several reasons. People love how cost-efficient they are and it doesn’t hurt that they are among the most durable pipes available today. Use PVC pipes in your plumbing and you likely won’t have to worry about replacing them anytime soon.

We say likely because PVC pipes can still be damaged. External forces and some avoidable mistakes could be the reasons why cracks have formed along the walls of your PVC pipes. Let’s examine some of the more common explanations for cracked PVC pipes below.

Improper Installation

Installing pipes may seem like a straightforward and simple task, but the reality is that it can be quite complicated. There are techniques that have to be followed and considerations to be kept in mind during the installation process. Just jamming the PVC pipe in there is not going to turn out well.

Some homeowners may struggle with pipe installation. The PVC pipe often winds up in the wrong position. Once that happens, it will only be a matter of time before the cracks start to form.

Accidentally Driving over the PVC Pipe

Depending on the arrangement of your septic system, the PVC pipes included in it could be vulnerable to damage. PVC pipes buried less than 12 inches into the ground are more likely to be damaged if you drive over them.

The soil in your yard also helps determine whether the pipes will be damaged if you drive over them accidentally. Rocky soil offers more protection for the pipes. The soil can offer even more protection if it is tightly packed.

Chemical Cleaners

Some chemical cleaners commonly used around the home can be damaging to PVC pipes. They weaken the interior lining of the pipe and make the walls more susceptible to cracking in the process.

Extreme Temperatures

As resilient as PVC is, prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures can still have effects on it. Constant exposure to extreme heat or cold could lead to cracks emerging along the pipes.

Sun Exposure

Leaving a PVC pipe exposed to the sun is not a good idea. The heat is a concern, but the bigger issue is related to the PVC being exposed to the UV rays. The ultraviolet rays can weaken the PVC significantly. Once the PVC is weakened, it becomes more vulnerable to potentially cracking.


Aging can also make PVC significantly weaker, but this likely won’t be an issue in many households. PVC pipes can last for several decades so it’s highly unlikely that the ones in your home are already too old.

How to Repair a Hairline Crack on a PVC Pipe

The appearance of a crack on a PVC pipe can be scary. Your thoughts may immediately shift to how bothersome and expensive it will be to replace the damaged pipe. Before looking into replacement though, inspect the damage once more.

Are you seeing a big fracture or something more along the lines of a hairline crack? If it’s the latter, you can still repair the PVC pipe and do so pretty easily. Listed below are the steps to follow if you want to repair a hairline crack on a PVC pipe.

Step 1: Gather the Needed Tools

The items you’ll need to fix a hairline crack on a PVC pipe include PVC glue, some sandpaper, and some rags. You may have to purchase the PVC glue, but it’s worth it. The adhesion you get from the PVC glue will seal up the crack nicely and stop leaking immediately.

Step 2: Turn Off the Water Going to the Damaged PVC Pipe

In order to make the repairs properly, you’ll first have to shut off the water going to the damaged PVC pipe. Look for the specific valve that controls water flow into that pipe. If you cannot find that valve or it doesn’t exist, you’ll have to shut off the water main instead.

Step 3: Sand Down the Damaged Area

Any bits of dirt and debris around the hairline crack can get in the way of your repairs. They can prevent the PVC glue from being as effective it can be. By neglecting sanding, you’re leaving open the possibility that the crack will not be completely sealed.

Make sure you take the time to sand the problem area down thoroughly. You don’t have to do this for a long time or with an excessive amount of force.

Sanding is needed here to clean up the area. You’re not trying to remove any layers of paint or other coatings. Some light sanding will suffice in this case.

Step 4: Apply the PVC Glue

After you’re done sanding the damaged area, you can proceed to applying the PVC glue. PVC glue often comes with an applicator after you buy a container. If the PVC glue you purchased doesn’t have that applicator, a small paintbrush will serve as a suitable substitute.

Start off by applying small amounts of the PVC glue and try to get as much of it into the crack. The small applicator will make it easier for you to fill in the opening.

Step 5: Allow the PVC Glue to Dry

With the PVC glue applied, all you have to do is wait. The container of the PVC glue will usually indicate how long it will take to dry. Most of the time though, you will only have to wait for a few minutes before turning your water back on.

Can You Use Other Items to Patch Up Hairline Cracks along PVC Pipes?

PVC glue works well on hairline cracks because it’s easy to use and takes effect very quickly. It helps that it creates a pretty strong seal as well. However, you don’t have to stick to using only PVC glue.

Silicone sealant is another item homeowners can use for the purposes of filling in hairline cracks. Prior to using silicone sealant, you can follow the same steps detailed above. That means you’ll have to turn off the water and sand down the spot completely before using the silicone sealant.

Fiberglass resin tape is yet another item that can be used for sealing cracks along PVC pipes. Cleaning around the area is still required, but you need to keep the spot damp. While the surface of the pipe is damp, wrap the fiberglass resin tape over it to create the seal.

The moisture is needed to activate the resin in the fiberglass tape. The resin should come alive after about 15 minutes or so.

How Do You Repair a Large Crack along the PVC Pipe?

If a large crack has appeared on the PVC pipe, using PVC glue, sealant, or tape will no longer suffice. The liquid moving through the pipe will constantly spill out of that crack if you only use those items. There are two methods of repairing bigger cracks on PVC pipes. Both of them will require a good amount of work.

First off, you can cut away the damaged section of the PVC pipe and replace it with a pipe coupler. The pipe coupler will act as a replacement and join the two sections of the original PVC pipe together.

Alternatively, you can also replace the entire PVC pipe that has sustained damage. This is the more expensive solution, but it will also work as a longer fix. You will probably need to hire professionals if you want to replace the PVC pipe completely.

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Related Questions

What Are the Signs You’re Dealing with a Cracked PVC Pipe?

The symptoms of smaller cracks along PVC pipes are hard to detect. That’s because the hairline cracks may not cause much of a problem early on. The most you’ll see will probably be some discoloration caused by moisture buildup along a specific spot.Bigger cracks are easier to detect because they cause more significant discoloration and more noticeable leaks. You may also detect some foul odors close to where the damaged pipes are located.

How Much Will a Replacement PVC Pipe Cost?

PVC pipes are very budget-friendly. At most, they will cost about $5 per foot. It’s also possible to get them closer to $1 per foot if you shop around.

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Gary Evans
Gary Evans

Gary Evans is passionate about home improvement. He loves finding out how to make improvements in the easiest, most practical, and most affordable ways. Upgrading his home kitchen is one of his ongoing hobbies. Gary is also a long-time content creator and enjoys spending his free time tending to his hydroponic vegetable garden.

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